DeKALB, Ill. – A Northern Illinois linebacker who was wounded in a drive-by shooting earlier this month said Friday that he faces a lengthy recovery and will not play in 2011.
Three days after being released from the hospital, Devon Butler spoke publicly for the first time at a campus press conference. He said he's at least six months away from beginning physical therapy and would concentrate on rehabilitation, regaining strength and catching up on classwork.
"I'm going to take my redshirt year," said Butler, a junior from Pembroke Pines, Fla. "The doctors have laid out what I need to do to get back to the classroom and also the football team."
Authorities say a gunman in an SUV fired into the apartment building where Butler was visiting with friends on April 5.
"Those were a few days that I definitely don't want to relive," Butler said. "I just stopped by to see a friend and play a few video games. I was just basically in the wrong place at the wrong time."
Butler was released from OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center in Rockford on Tuesday. He suffered a collapsed lung from the shooting and said doctors told him he will make a full recovery.
"I feel good when I wake up, I feel good going to sleep, I getting better every day," said Butler, who plans to attend Northern Illinois' spring game on Saturday. "But it's a day-to-day process."
A judge has set bond at $1 million each for two NIU students accused in the shooting.